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Too Many Crooks (A state of the nation undress)

By March 7, 2008One Comment

On my recent three month travels in South America, I picked up a book
by Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing titled ‘The Prisons We Choose to
Live Inside’. In one of its chapters Lessing writes”¦..
‘We are all of us, to some degree or another brainwashed by the
society we live in. We are able to see his when we travel to another
country, and are able to catch a glimpse of our own country with
foreign eyes. There is nothing much we can do about this except
remember that it is so. Every one of us is part of the great
comforting illusions, and part illusions, which every society uses to
keep up its confidence in itself. These are hard to examine, and the
best we can hope for is that a kindly friend from another culture will
enable us to look at our culture with dispassionate eyes.’
Taking heed of the 1997 Nobel Prize winning ouma’s invaluable advice,
I return to South Africa with my newly acquired pair of dispassionate lenses only
to discover that one need not a kindly friend from another culture nor
three months away to fully (and dispassionately)
comprehend the raging insanity prevalent at the moment. There
are sadly very little of those ‘comforting illusions’ Lessing writes
about ,left to be bullshitted by. For these days, one committing their
daily acts of greed, deceit, corruption and avarice need not waste time by taking
surreptitious measures (closed doors, under the boardroom table, in
shady alley ways and so forth) but rather in full brazen view of a
population as credulous as they are empowered. Honesty we must
remember is to be commended not apprehended. gold stars all round!
This climate makes it all the more difficult to maintain one’s
equanimity, to resist resorting to the all out alarmism/pessimism
common to most. Of course it’s not a pestilence common to the South,
the world is riddled with it ,always has been, and if we ever
mustered up enough wisdom to glance back over our collective histories ,as Lessing
implores, we would find a long unchanged list of recurring if not
identical incidence.
So it is I find what I call home to be in the crux of further
regression and depression, but how can you stumble backward, I wonder,
when you have hardly taken a step forward. How can you bitch about the
power cuts and black outs when our illumination it seems has been
about as illusionary and enlightening as our democracy, our ten
triumphant years of bureaucracy. The crime is worse, more of the same
,but with time away, seemingly more horrific. And yet with all the
things to speak about it remains the only spoken thing, for action in
the South is over rated, the big debates and burning questions ,over
burdened and de bated.
So let’s leave it to the inapt blacks to spat with the inapt blacks to
spat with the inapt whites to spat with the inapt whites to spat with
the inapt invading yellow guys to spat with the inapt black cross
whites cross yellow guys ”“until they all turn the communal parliamentary creed
of blue in the face. Let’s let humanities inaptness run riot across
the Sunday news, pollute the letter’s pages with profound comments
like: Get used to it, the blacks will always hate the whites and the
whites will always hate the blacks!
‘Blame’ these days is the only worthy buck worth passing. Mandela’s
optimism blamed for the blinkers, Mbeki’s insidious
dictator(titanic fated)ship -what happens to the sandpit in the hands of
supposed thinkers. So let’s just solve it all by not thinking and not
blinking while the rainbow stands all rust and plundered gold. The TRC
currently under investigation for justices unresolved. Blood for blood
and a colour blind eye for a colour blind eye until (in the words of
Rushdie) the whole world goes blind.
Let the incendiary puppeteers pluck on strings, stir hearts not
brains, for hearts fuel fists and brains fuel books, and those never
changed nothing now did they? Except the ones by bigot’s and
fantasists or bigot fantasists, whom I suppose can be partly blamed
for getting us into this unlawful, god awful mess in the first place.
Utopia, utopia, the country laments, where did you go? Our first world
façade ripped down by the third world throes. Too many crooks spoil
the broth, but leave one alone and he’ll corrupt the entire kitchen,
poison the soup, carve up his competitors with butcher’s knife.
The melting pot is scalding, it frofeth over, Its content’s congealed,
while the brutes in possession of the all providing ladle seem to be
far too busy using it to bludgeon each another over the head, then do
anything useful with it. No dispassion, like Africa is not for
sissies. Thanks for nothing Doris.

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